Archive of ‘art’ category
Just to clarify, I think I ought to briefly explain exactly what I mean by “ooh – project!”, for those who are not so intimately familiar with the 1995 Amy Heckerling tour-de-force that is Clueless. Sadly, it is a truth universally acknowledged that not all are as appreciative of the 1990s teen movie oeuvre as I, and so for the benefit of the unenlightened, “ooh, project!” is an exclamation one might make when confronted with a new and exciting task, such as transforming a high-school no-hoper into a fully manicured, coiffured, knee-sock-flaunting, plaid-miniskirt-wearing hottie, or indeed getting stuck into any particularly appealing new scheme, in this case trying to suss out exactly what the whole crazy world of blogging is about (see below).
I would love to say here that in future this blog will be referencing more highbrow, intellectual sources, perhaps some Adorno or Derrida, a little Nietzsche, maybe Foucault, Baudrillard? (But not Lacan. Definitely never Lacan.) However in spite of all my academic credentials the truth is I’m much more likely to return to Clueless. It is after all, possibly the most quotable film ever made: for any given situation, I promise you there is an appropriate Clueless quotation to fit it. And at the end of the day, shocking though it may be, I can’t help suspecting that when it comes to a stand off between Of Grammatology and Clueless, I suspect that Clueless is just a teensy bit more fun. Of course, it’s also “way existential”… like, everyone knows that.
… my very brilliant and talented boyfriend has been presenting a paper on psychogeography at the 7th annual literary london conference at Brunel University today, and I’m sure he’s having a celebratory drink or two this evening.
Unfortunately I’m not there. Back here in Manchester, I’ve also missed out on the Contents May Vary publication launch at Castlefield Gallery yesterday and the Art of Sound: Sound of Art event with RNCM at the Whitworth Art Gallery tonight.
So what, I hear you ask, are my glamorous, exotic, fun-filled alternative plans for the end of my week? Well, so far I have to say, Friday night has been pretty hot stuff. I’m talking drinking tea, watching ‘Celebrity Masterchef’, nursing the sore throat and reading ‘The South Manchester Reporter’! And now I’m going to bed early. No doubt about it, I sure do know how to party.
It’s been another week of madness. On Wednesday night, I was at Manchester Art Gallery for the launch of the b.tween conference. Wandering through the beautiful pre-Raphaelite and Victorian galleries with my glass of wine whilst we waited for things to kick off made for an interesting contrast with the main event – pitches from five creatives for the exploding narratives project, which uses cutting-edge technology.
On Thursday, I headed over to Liverpool for the Design Show at the Contemporary Urban Centre. I am quite impressed that I managed not to spend any money (except for buying a quite disgusting tuna panini – though that, as they say, is really another story). I did take quite a fancy to Rachel Eardley‘s pretty dove earrings, but sadly they were rather out of my price range. The dangerous Tatty Devine stand was also quite difficult to resist. Oh the gorgeousness of the black cat bangle! Oh how covetable is the petite antler pendant! I think the Tatty Devine people could see me drooling because they kindly gave me a rather fabulous heart-shaped lolly and and this most excellent badge which I love. (Secretly, I am still only about 5 years old.)
Today, I was back in Manchester for day two of the b.tween conference at MoSI. I felt like a total wally when I arrived this morning because I was (literally) the only one there without a laptop (specifically, a shiny new mac book), a blackberry or an iphone. Instead, I had a pen. A pen. My god, I like pre-Raphaelite oil paintings and I use a pen. I am practically analogue. I am surprised some kind of digital police force didn’t come and forcibly eject me from the auditorium because I wasn’t Web 2.0 enough to make the grade. However, I did start to feel better when someone made a cheezburger joke on the webchat screen and I actually understood it. (Is that a good thing?)
It was an interesting day – I enjoyed listening to this guy whilst watching my neighbour’s rather impressive doodling. I got another free badge! And then there was Bill Tidy – the highlight of the day. His slightly nonsensical but entertaining talk, which took in everything from coathangers to Lady Godiva, was illustrated not by boring old powerpoint slides, but by his own rapid-fire illustrations. The audience loved it: the glossy meeja type sitting next to me was audibly snorting with laughter at one point and on the webchat screen a whole “bill tidy rocks, death to powerpoint” movement was rapidly gaining momentum. I felt a lot better after that: clearly analogue has still got it after all.
… And now the week is over! It’s Friday night and my plan for the weekend is for sunshine, artlessness, and sleep!
What do masking tape, sandwich bags and Derrida have in common? You may well ask…
At the weekend some of us from the Salford Restoration Office Reading Group got together with the intention of making a publication in two days. The feeling was that we wanted to do something more as a group beyond our activity so far, which has been largely reading and discussing texts and inviting speakers to the fortnightly Open Sessions. When we talked about possible ideas and projects, making a publication was a popular suggestion which we all felt would be interesting for the group to explore. The plan was to make something deliberately low-tech with only very minimal forward planning: we would just turn up on Saturday morning and get stuck in!
Well, I think we may have been a little optimistic with our plans: our final ‘publication’ wasn’t perhaps quite what I had expected (and yes, it did involve masking tape, sandwich bags and Derrida!) but we did have some fun in the process, including experimenting with an old letter press, reading about Collage Party, the odd trip to the pub and making a pinhole camera from a cardboard box, taking photographs and developing them in our very own improvised dark room. The picture above is one of the photographs taken in the office as we’re all working: I like how ghostly and mysterious everything looks.
I’d been really looking forward to getting stuck in after a long and tiring week at work. Since I started my current job three months ago, I have had very little time or energy to do anything creative for myself, so it was great to put a weekend aside to play, even if the end result wasn’t quite what I had anticipated! I was also supposed to be attending a two-day writing course this week, but disappointingly, it got cancelled at the last minute. I didn’t know whether to be sorry or relieved when I found out: I have never taken any kind of writing course or class before, and I was quite terrified at the prospect of showing others my work, though I do think it would have been very good for me. I am trying hard to find a way to kick myself back into writing regularly at the moment but it’s surprisingly difficult! But hopefully writing here will be a good start.
On Thursday night I went to check out the private view of Broadcast Yourself, the new exhibition at Cornerhouse.
On Friday, I headed over to International 3 for the launch of Artranspennine08, an exhibition taking place across various locations across the transpennine route over the next two months, which will include work by a number of my pals.
Afterwards, I went along to the preview of the MMU Degree Show, where I picked up all these lovely postcards. My favourite piece in this year’s show was by Amy Davies, a student on the Interactive Arts degree programme: a whimsical and beautiful installation made up of hundreds of images cut from old Ladybird books that appeared to be growing across the gallery wall. However, I have to admit that it’s always the sketchbooks that I like best. Looking at them makes me wish I had chosen to study art or design – actually, I haven’t even got a GCSE in art. I think I decided not to study it because I felt I wasn’t good enough: teachers were always telling me that my work was ‘too messy’ and I knew I couldn’t draw ‘properly’ (i.e. draw things that looked ‘real’) so I felt it wasn’t for me. I didn’t realise that being messy and making work that didn’t look exactly the same as everyone else’s could actually be a good thing. But now, I look at all those sketchbooks and I feel quite envious – I want to make a sketchbook too!
this week I have also been…
reading: mainly The Night Watch by Sarah Waters. Whilst I didn’t enjoy it as much as some of her other novels, I was impressed by the back-in-time structure of the book. At first I didn’t find the characters especially engaging, but by the end, I was completely engrossed and I found myself wanting to go straight back to the beginning to see how it all fitted together. For me, wanting to start all over again the moment you’ve finished is always the mark of a good read.
I have also been browsing a newly-discovered blog, hulaseventy (full of lovely photographs) and the latest issue of the mighty fine Blanket magazine.
listening to: CSS and the Juno soundtrack whilst sitting on the bus and gazing out of the window trying to spot the unexpected secret things that no one else is noticing: hidden fragments of graffiti; a bird swaying on a t-v aerial; wild flowers growing on a building site; an abandoned bicycle with no wheels (one of the saddest sights of the city); and, predictably enough, any passers-by with particularly cool shoes.
eating: homemade burgers and sweet potato wedges; pineapple and mango for breakfast; my favourite vegan pizza at Cornerhouse; udon noodles with king prawn, ginger and spring onions; and erm… jammie dodgers.
and most importantly of all, sleeping: as much as is humanly possible.